Seneca County

American Plastics investing in Seneca County facility

Company investing $3.5 million, adding 138 jobs by end of 2019

TIFFIN, OHIO – September 24, 2019American Plastics, a premier plastic injection molding company located just south of Tiffin, Ohio, has announced that it will be investing a total of $3.5 million and hiring more than 130 workers by the end of 2019.

The new investment and job creation is due to both the acquisition of the former Katy Industries facility by Highview Capital in 2018 and the additional business to produce plastic shelving and totes under the Craftsman brand label for Lowe’s.

American Plastics’ Tiffin facility will be the sole manufacturer of shelving for the Craftsman brand, to be available at the more than 1,500 Lowe’s stores in North America. The plant currently specializes in the production of plastic shelving and plastic totes, including the Commander and Blue Hawk name brands for Lowe’s; Husky for Home Depot; and Tough Box for Sam’s Club. American Plastics has 14 other facilities throughout the United States, including facilities in Sycamore, Findlay and Arizona.

This announcement represents a commitment to a second, $2.5 million phase of investment in new tooling at the 68,000-square-foot Hopewell Township plant, adding to the completion of $1 million investment in equipment and facility upgrades in 2018. Company employment, which was 27 at the beginning of 2018, is expected to reach or exceed 165 by the end of 2019, representing a net 138 job increase.

Joe Roth, Plant Manager for American Plastics in Tiffin, commented: “This is a huge positive step forward for our operations here and represents both the company’s bright future and the quality of our workforce.  We contribute our growth and success to our dedicated team, innovation, quality and customer relationships.  I only see this getting stronger as we grow along side with the City of Tiffin.”

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz was impressed by the company during a visit there in early 2019. “This major expansion represents another example of the great economic momentum we are seeing in the greater Tiffin area across all sectors, including manufacturing.”

Seneca County Commission President Shayne Thomas praised the project: “This is a huge win for Seneca County, and we look forward to seeing their continued success.”

About American Plastics

American Plastics, headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, is a leading designer and manufacturer of innovative plastic-injection molded products for the household and garage storage and commercial cleaning end-markets. The company maintains a national manufacturing and distribution footprint with 15 state-of-the-art facilities across North America, making us the partner-of-choice for our customers, nationwide.

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.tiffinseneca.com.

Bascom Communications announces $1.7 million investment

Extends high-speed services south and east of Tiffin

TIFFIN, OHIO – August 27, 2019 – Bascom Communications of Bascom, Ohio, has announced an investment of $1.7 million into their fiber and fixed wireless services for 2019, bringing their two-year total investment to $2.8 million. These investments have helped Bascom extend services to customers south and east of Tiffin who previously were not able to get high-speed internet.

Some of the upgrades were possible due to the company’s investment in the fiber communications system that improves the reliability of communications among the dispatch centers at the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office, Tiffin and Fostoria police departments and the emergency operations center at the Public Safety Building. In March 2018, Seneca County signed a 20-year, $719,000 lease on several strands of the company’s fiber ring to create a private network for the county.

“There’s a need out there and that’s what we’re trying to hit,” said Nate Brickner, General Manager/CEO of Bascom Communications. “We are a rural company, and we’ve always tried to do our part to close the rural-urban divide.”

Bascom Communications was formed in 1906 by a group of farmers wanting to bring voice services to rural Tiffin and Fostoria. In 1953, it became a co-operative company, and since 2000, the company has returned more than $4.7 million in capital credit refunds to its membership. In 2003, they began offering a fiber optic connection directly into members’ homes and businesses and in 2018, they became a certified gig-capable provider by NTCA. Bascom Communications was the recipient of the Outstanding Business Award at the TSEP 2019 Annual Meeting March 7, 2019.

Seneca County Board of Commissioners President Shayne Thomas congratulated Bascom Communications on this investment. “It is great to see a local company continuing to invest in Seneca County. They have been a great partner for the county.”

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at http://www.tiffinseneca.org.

Four-county group collaborates on workforce challenges

Press released provided through partnership with 4CG

June 24, 2019 — Economic development and workforce development organizations in Huron, Ottawa, Sandusky and Seneca Counties are partnering together under the 4CG initiative. 4CG represents the 4 County Group 4 Collaborative Growth.  The group began working together six years ago to collectively address the region’s workforce challenges.

Initially, 4CG focused its efforts on Manufacturing Month (October) with manufacturing bus tours for educators, speaker events, and manufacturing/career showcases.  These showcase events provide the opportunity for 9th grade students and school leaders to experience today’s work environment and skill sets through interactive stations designed by local manufacturers, businesses, and skilled trade organizations. 

Recently, Huron, Sandusky and Seneca Counties came together to support Ottawa County in the development of a Rapid Response Plan to address the potential closure of the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Plant. Out of this plan, the counties will begin a comprehensive workforce analysis, with wage and benefit information and strategic priorities developed to assist potential impacted employees and local employers within this labor shed. 

This analysis and plan project has received support from the Area 7 Workforce Development Board and the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services.  Phase I of the project (the workforce analysis and wage and benefit survey) is fully funded and was awarded to consulting firm, Poggemeyer Design Group with subcontracted services through Bowling Green State University Center for Regional Development.    4CG’s consultant, Poggemeyer, will provide assistance in obtaining funding for Phase II of the project implementation, thereby minimizing the need for financial assistance from the economic development organizations, counties, communities, and businesses.

SkillsUSA Names 24 Schools as National Models of Excellence

The Vanguard Tech Center Honored as America’s Top SkillsUSA Program for 2019

Press release provided by Vanguard Sentinel Career & Technology Centers

Fremont, Ohio: — SkillsUSA recently named 24 SkillsUSA chapters as Models of Excellence for 2019. At the top level of SkillsUSA’s Chapter Excellence Program, these schools are recognized for the exceptional integration and application of personal, workplace and technical skills in their SkillsUSA chapter activities. This is the highest award bestowed on chapters by SkillsUSA, which is one of the largest student organizations for career and technical education. Vanguard Sentinel Career & Technology Centers (VSCTC) is excited to announce their Fremont campus (The Vanguard Tech Center) earned Model of Excellence for workplace skills.

“The Models of Excellence program represents the very best in chapter achievement and community involvement,” said Timothy W. Lawrence, executive director of SkillsUSA. “These students represent our future workforce and reflect the future of their communities. This is a tremendous honor for each school and validates these outstanding SkillsUSA programs as some of the best in the nation.”

As an honoree, VSCTC will participate in the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Ky., June 24-28. Activities include finalist interviews, an awards dinner at the Kentucky Derby Museum, and recognition at the SkillsUSA awards ceremony in front of more than 12,000 students, instructors and business leaders. The Chapter Excellence Program is provided in partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor and Crescent Tools, a premier hand-tool brand from Apex Tool Group.

“We are honored to be part of this program,” said Curt Weber, senior director of brand management for Apex Tool Group. “These students possess the skills that every employer seeks, including leadership, initiative, communication, teamwork and problem solving. Their SkillsUSA instructors take the education of these students to the next level by elevating it from classroom instruction to successful application.” 

Other Ohio schools receiving the 2019 Models of Excellence award recognition include Buckeye Hills Career Center and Upper Valley Career Center.

The Chapter Excellence Program promotes the intentional learning of personal skills, workplace skills and technical skills grounded in academics, as outlined in the SkillsUSA Framework for student development. Specific characteristics defined within each skill area help ensure tangible benchmarks for student achievement and chapter programming. Achievement is measured by the effectiveness of students’ efforts in implementing essential workplace skills including personal responsibility, integrity, work ethic and organization in chapter activities. The hands-on approach of this program actualizes the SkillsUSA mission of empowering members to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens.

About Vanguard Sentinel Career & Technology Centers

Vanguard-Sentinel Career & Technology Centers have been providing quality career technical education since 1968.  The district provides students with specific, marketable skills to begin a career, pursue further training or attend college.  For more information, visit www.vsctc.org.  

About SkillsUSA

SkillsUSA is a nonprofit partnership of education and industry to strengthen our nation’s skilled workforce. Driven by employer demand, SkillsUSA helps students develop necessary personal and workplace skills along with technical skills grounded in academics. This SkillsUSA Framework empowers every student to succeed at work and in life, while helping to close the “skills gap” in which millions of positions go unfilled. Through SkillsUSA’s championships program and curricula, employers have long ensured schools are teaching relevant technical skills, and with SkillsUSA’s new credentialing process, they can now assess how ready potential employees are for the job. SkillsUSA has more than 360,000 annual members nationwide in high schools, colleges and middle schools, covering over 130 trade, technical and skilled service occupations, and is recognized by the U.S. departments of Education and Labor as integral to career and technical education. For more information: www.skillsusa.org

2019 TSEP Award Winners

The TSEP Awards are presented each year at the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership Annual Meeting to recognize businesses and individuals in the Tiffin and Seneca County community. Not every award is given each year, only when the Membership & Events Committee and/or the president or chairperson deem a company or individual deserving of the particular recognition.

This year’s meeting was March 7, 2019 and the following six awards were presented. Click the links below for additional information and a video about each award winner.

Jobs Seneca County Facebook page now open

Service connects employers to potential job seekers

TIFFIN, OHIO – March 6, 2019 – The North Central Ohio Educational Service Center Business Advisory Council (NCOESC BAC) announced today that they are launching a new Facebook group to promote employment opportunities in Seneca County on Thursday, March 7, 2019. The group is called Jobs Seneca County and will promote available jobs, employers, and hiring events throughout Seneca County.

Council Chair Amy Wood is pleased with the effort. “Our Council’s purpose is to align the work of NCOESC BAC participating school districts in response to the needs of businesses. Jobs Seneca County will expose students and the community to viable career opportunities locally, increasing student and business success.”

For the first time and without cost, all job creators in Seneca County will be able to directly connect with potential employees using social media. Employers can post available jobs themselves, which then are reviewed by one of four site administrators to ensure that information is posted in a timely fashion and only positions in Seneca County are being advertised. There are currently 48 jobs listed on the site with links to OhioMeansJobs.com with job descriptions and applications.

“There are always jobs available, so we are doing anything we can to spread the word and get that information to potential job seekers,” said Carol Kern, Co-Chair of the Business Coordinating Committee of the NCOESC BAC and Business Services Consultant with OhioMeansJobs Seneca County.

In addition, the site soon is to feature videos produced to highlight area employers and their workplace culture, showing why people like working there. Events also will be featured on the site, such as hiring events and job fairs relevant to Seneca County residents. A hiring event is scheduled for 1-2:30 p.m. March 11 at OhioMeansJobs Seneca County, 900 E. CR 20, Tiffin.

For more information, visit Jobs Seneca County’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/jobssenecacounty or contact Kern at 419.447.5011 x322 or Carol.Owen@jfs.ohio.gov to also hear about other OhioMeansJobs services, such as resume searches and wage reimbursement programs.

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at http://www.tiffinseneca.com.

Seneca County ranks 14th nationally for economic development

Community ranked in top 20 for seven years

TIFFIN, OHIO – MARCH 4, 2019 – Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership and the Fostoria Economic Development Corp. announced today that Seneca County has placed No. 14 nationally in Site Selection magazine’s rankings for large, private economic development projects out of the 576 micropolitans in the US for the honor. Site Selection has been annually ranking states and cities since 1978.

This is the seventh year in a row that the Tiffin-Seneca micropolitan area has ranked in the top 100 nationally; last year Seneca County was ranked No. 10. Qualifying projects must involve a capital investment of at least $1 million, create at least 20 new jobs or add at least 20,000 sq. ft. of new floor area.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz was very pleased with the result. “This national ranking shows that Tiffin continues to be a great place for business to locate and grow. We are proud to be recognized again by Site Selection Magazine.” Fostoria Mayor Eric Keckler agreed, “I’m proud that Fostoria and Seneca County continue to be a great place to do business.” Seneca County Commission President Shayne Thomas added: “I’m happy to see Seneca County place nationally for business development. I want to thank everyone involved in our shared success.”

This year, Ohio ranked as the number two state for development projects and the entire Northwest Ohio region posted strong numbers, with Findlay taking the number one micropolitan slot, Defiance taking the eight spot, Fremont-Sandusky placing 19, and Toledo ranking third in its metropolitan division.

“There are (576) micropolitians in the United states of America. … Of the 18 communities (in Ohio) that ranked on the list, five were right here in Northwest Ohio. This is a feat that few other regions in the country can match,” said Dean Monske, President & CEO of RGP Northwest Ohio in Toledo, the regional economic development organization for Northwest Ohio.

More information can be found at siteselection.com.

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.tiffinseneca.com.

About the Fostoria Economic Development Corporation

Established in 1956 as the Fostoria Community Industrial Association, the Fostoria Economic Development Corporation (FEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Fostoria and surrounding area in Hancock, Wood, and Seneca Counties, which consistently rank among the top counties nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Fostoria at www.fostoriaedc.org.

Oliver named state director of the year

Press release provided by the office of the Seneca County Commissioners

KathyOliver.jpgSeneca County Department of Job and Family Services Director Kathy Oliver was named Ohio’s DJFS Director of the Year Friday by the Ohio Job and Family Services Directors’ Association.

Oliver, who has been the county’s director since June 2003, was given the award Friday at the OJFSDA Annual Recognition Banquet in Columbus.

“It is an absolute honor and blessing,” Oliver said. “There are so many talented, skilled and innovative directors in Ohio. I consider myself fortunate to get to work with them on various committees, task forces and work groups.”

The award recognizes a director who, through dedicated efforts throughout their career, exemplify the professional qualities and achievements of an outstanding director. OJFSDA received nominations for director of the year through the end of October.

As part of Oliver’s nomination, other directors and staff members recognized Oliver for her hard work. The letter she received informing her that she was selected as director of the year states, “your commitment to the residents of your county, as well as your involvement in the Ohio Job and Family Services Directors’ Association, is greatly appreciated. Your peers described you as open, kind, hard-working and a steadfast advocate for the well-being of your customers. It is fitting and with great honor that we recognize you for all your dedication to your agency, community and the entire job and family service system.”

Oliver credited DJFS staff for allowing the department to succeed.

“We are successful because of our staff’s commitment to helping individuals and families with the services we provide,” she said. “We have skilled, talented and trained staff. We are fortunate that we have an excellent workforce who constantly adapts to new rules and regulations to provide the best service possible. We also work with amazing community partners that are interested in finding solutions and implementing best practices.”

Ginger Mack, of Seneca County DJFS, said she was happy Oliver received the recognition.
“Kathy is a respected leader in our agency, community and the state,” she said. “I don’t know anyone who is more deserving of this award.”

Seneca County Commissioner Shayne Thomas said Oliver deserves the award.

“Seneca County is proud to have Kathy Oliver leading our JFS agency,” he said. “Her guidance has led to best practices being implemented across our system, this is reflected in recent outstanding audits from the state of Ohio. We are thankful that she continues to serve some of our most in need populations.

Oliver said many changes and improvements have been made during her time as director.

“We started electronic imaging shortly after I became the director,” she said. “That project freed up space for offices for our staff instead of having file rooms. We also created an agency database that holds all types of documents, guidance and rules for ease of our workers to quickly find what they need to do their job.”

Oliver also said two call centers have been implemented to provide better customer service.

“There is a call center for public assistance and one for child support. Both have less than a minute wait time. We have also implemented a human resources software, which allows us to efficiently process payroll and electronically submit it to the auditor’s office,” she said.

Oliver said 2018 has been a busy year for Seneca County DJFS.

“We are implementing state-wide imaging solutions for public assistance, child care, child protection and child support,” she said. “Also, we completed the transition to the state-wide public assistance system called Ohio Benefits. We have been part of many committees locally and in the state to better serve our families in Seneca County, by creating sound policy, systems and solutions. We continue to develop leaders within our staff by participating in Seneca County Leadership with some of our staff.”
Oliver said other strides are being made in the child support program, in the workforce program and in several others.

“In the child support program, we are in the process of preparing to implement new state legislation which provided technical fixes and update to the child support guideline,” she said, adding that the changes will be implemented in March 2019. “In the Workforce program, we just completed work as part of a team with economic development, the chamber, local employers, community partners and Tiffin University for the 2018 manufacturing showcase event. Over ten schools and 750 students participated in learning about jobs in manufacturing here in Seneca County. We were also one of the first apprenticeship programs with employers in Ohio as part of Area 7. We continue to assist individuals with training and on-the-job training needs.”

Oliver also said many families have been helped with winter clothing through a partnership with local retail stores.

“We have also been able to help families with training, car repairs, gas vouchers, heating and other services to help families who are eligible,” she said.

Seneca Wind Introduces Office in Tiffin

sPower-Logo_onWhite.jpgsPower Opens Seneca County Headquarters at 23 Court Street

Press release provided by sPower

Joined by Seneca County residents, business leaders and elected officials, sPower cut the ribbon on an office for the Seneca Wind project in downtown Tiffin that will be open to the public during designated hours, five days a week. sPower encourages people to visit the office at 23 Court Street for information about Seneca Wind or to leave comments or questions about the project.

“Today we make it official that Seneca Wind is a long-term member of this outstanding community,”  said Gordon Gray, director of wind for sPower. “We thank the residents and community leaders who have welcomed us, and we invite everyone to visit our office and engage with us.”

The Seneca Wind office will be staffed by Cynthia Beat, a resident of Attica, and will be open during the following hours:

  • Monday, 9 a.m. – noon
  • Tuesday, 9 a.m. – noon
  • Wednesday, 2 – 6 p.m.
  • Thursday, 9 a.m. – noon
  • Friday, 9 a.m. – noon

“I welcome sPower to our downtown community – another success in the efforts to revitalize the courthouse square area,” Seneca County Commissioner Shayne Thomas said. “Representatives from sPower made several commitments to the commissioners. One of them was to have a staffed local office in downtown Tiffin. I thank them for keeping that pledge. This move demonstrates their long-term commitment to the county and their promise to be accessible to concerned citizens. sPower’s small local office will grow into hundreds of millions of dollars in new investment across the county.”

The Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) is reviewing sPower’s application for a 212 megawatt wind farm. sPower is seeking a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need as part of a comprehensive public review process.

In September, the State of Ohio certified Seneca Wind as a Qualified Energy Project, establishing a fixed payment in lieu of taxes throughout the operational life of the project. Based on the proposed 212 megawatts of nameplate capacity and the 30-year expected lifetime of the project, this will result in $56 million of revenue from sPower to be divided among schools, townships and other taxing jurisdictions in Seneca County. The Qualified Energy Project program also creates requirements for in-state employment, renewable energy education, road improvement and repair, and emergency response training.

Seneca Wind will consist of up to 85 wind turbines on approximately 25,000 acres of privately leased land in Scipio, Reed, Venice, Eden and Bloom townships, providing enough clean energy to power almost 60,000 homes each year.

About sPower: sPower, an AES and AIMCo company, is the largest private owner of operating solar assets in the United States. sPower owns and operates a portfolio of solar and wind assets greater than 1.3 gigawatts and has a development pipeline of more than 13 gigawatts. sPower is owned by a joint venture partnership between The AES Corporation (NYSE: AES), a worldwide energy company headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, and the Alberta Investment Management Corporation, one of Canada’s largest and most diversified institutional investment fund managers. For more information, visit www.sPower.com. To learn more about the Seneca Wind project, visit www.SenecaWind.com.

 

Bascom Communications Named Certified Gig-Capable Provider by NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association

GigCertified_4c.pngPress release provided by Bascom Communications

Arlington, Va., (9/27/18)Bascom Communications Inc. was today recognized by NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association, the premier association representing nearly 900 independent, community-based telecommunications companies that are leading innovation in rural and small-town America, as a Certified Gig-Capable Provider for delivering gigabit broadband speeds and enabling technological innovation in the Bascom and surrounding communities.

As a Certified Gig-Capable Provider, Bascom Communications joins a national campaign to build awareness and industry recognition of community-based telecom providers that have built communications networks capable of delivering Internet speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second, which is 100 times faster than those currently available in many U.S. households. Bascom Communications also received tools to promote itself as a Gig-Capable Provider in the Seneca County and will be recognized in NTCA media, on the NTCA website, and during association conferences and events.

“I applaud Bascom Communications for its commitment to delivering the Internet’s fastest speeds—an accomplishment worthy of much praise considering the unique and challenging circumstances small, community-based telecommunications providers operate under every day in serving some of our country’s most rural and remote communities,” said NTCA Chief Executive Officer Shirley Bloomfield. “By building a gigabit-capable network, Bascom has not only overcome these challenges, but also shattered conventional benchmarks for broadband speed to enable cutting-edge technologies that drive innovation and promote economic development in their communities, region and nationwide.”

To achieve certification, telecommunications companies must show that gigabit technology is currently commercially available within 95% of one or more exchanges within its serving territory and that such service can be provided without new trenching or stringing new aerial facilities. This statement must be confirmed by a letter from an engineering firm or other independent source involved in the company’s network planning, deployment or operation.

More information about the NTCA Gig-Capable Provider certification program is available at www.ntca.org/gigcertified.

About Bascom Communications
Bascom Communications is a progressive cooperative that continues to be a technological and service leader in the area since they were formed in 1906. Bascom Communications is made up of four companies, Bascom Mutual Telephone Co., Bascom Advanced Services, Inc., BTC Multimedia, LLC, and Bascom Cellular, Inc. All of their wired customers, business and residential, have a fiber optic connection directly into their premises from a local and caring provider. Bascom Communications offers high quality telephone service, Fiber TV, Accelerate high-speed Internet access, security and personal home safety, Ethernet transport, Wireless Internet with LTE, along with many other services to make your communications experience enjoyable, easy, and affordable. Their Accelerate Full Throttle Gigabit service was the first in Northwest Ohio when launched in May of 2017. They continue to broaden their profile and reach to be able to offer the most to their customers now and into the future. Visit them at
www.bascomtelephone.com.

About NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association
NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association is the premier association representing nearly 850 independent, community-based telecommunications companies that are leading innovation in rural and small-town America. NTCA advocates on behalf of its members in the legislative and regulatory arenas, and it provides training and development; publications and industry events; and an array of employee benefit programs. In an era of transformative technological advancements, regulatory challenges and marketplace competition, NTCA members are leading the technological evolution for rural consumers, delivering robust and high-quality services over future-proof networks that make rural communities vibrant places in which to live and do business. Because of their efforts, rural America is fertile ground for innovation in economic development, e-commerce, health care, agriculture, and education and contributes billions of dollars to the U.S. economy each year. Visit us at www.ntca.org.